Slive: I Like Play-Offs

When the most powerful commissioner in college football is saying: “I like play-offs”, it’s not going to be a matter whether college football goes to a play-off, it’s a matter when it does, and how many teams are involved.

Speaking at the SEC Baseball tournament in Hoover (won by the Mississippi State Bulldogs, if you’re counting), Mike Slive said that he favours a four-team play-off.

“I think what’s in the best interest of college football is a four-team playoff,” he told ESPN. “I think it’s better for everyone involved in the game. The plus-one narrows the postseason in a way that’s not necessarily in the best interest of all the conferences.”

Of course, now comes the madness and questions:

1) Does the new SEC-Big XII game have to be a de facto semi-final or final?

2) Would Slive be against this if the SEC Champion was the fifth-ranked team in the nation (it’s gotta happen sometime!), and therefore unable to qualify under the new rules?

3) What would be they prefer, play-off games at away games or neutral venues (this blog, btw, likes the nature of ‘away games’, simply because anyone going into the likes of Eugene, Tuscaloosa, Death Valley or Camp Randall (as would have been the case this year) would have seen some great college football atmospheres?)

And last but not least?

Does this mean that we’re automatically going to go for four superconferences, built up of the SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten and Big XII, and that Notre Dame’s automatically going to have to join a conference?

The answer? No. But if it is decided that four-team play-offs are the way to go, then it would be a lot more simple if this was the case. This will mean an almighty tear-up of the Big East and ACC – although this would only be for football (basketball, we’d argue, will say the same). Not that it would be any good for the game, mind.

Why the hate for Steve Spurrier?

Steve Spurrier made some non-needed headlines in the college football world this week when ESPN’s Mark Schlabach said that the South Carolina Gamecocks coach was ‘College Football’s Most Hated Coach (Of All Time)’.

Said Schlabach in his article: “Rival fans hated Spurrier not only because he beat them so often while coaching at Florida, but more so because he loved to tell them about it afterward. From Spurrier’s famous jabs like “Free Shoes U.” and “Can’t Spell Citrus Without UT,” the Old Ball Coach gave rival fans myriad reasons to dislike him.”

Also included in the list from 2-10 are:

Ohio State’s Woody Hayes, Oklahoma’s Barry Switzer, Miami’s Jimmy Johnson, Tennessee and USC’s Lane Kiffin, Bobby Petrino, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer (formerly of Florida), Pittsburgh’s Jackie Sherrill, Ohio State’s Jim Tressel, Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez (formerly of West Virginia and Michigan).

The accusations are generally around recruiting violations, running the score up on oppositions, and his team beat your team. What is so irritating about Schlabach’s list is that there aren’t enough SEC or even Southern coaches on the list. Nick Saban should be on the list, as well as should Les Miles (simply because he seems to be the luckiest coach alive). St Charlie Of The Weis wasn’t been included at Notre Dame or Florida, and where’s Mack Brown or anyone from the University of Texas on the list? And where are the legendary SMU coaches from yesteryear?

But going back to Spurrier, we’d like to make some points about Steve Spurrier, the former Science Hill High School quarterback who had quite a good career as a QB at Florida and in the pros.

1) Spurrier wasn’t just a brilliant coach, he was a brilliant quarterback. Ask the guys who have picked up his Heisman Award. How any former Heisman quarterbacks are coaches of big-time programs? His quarterbacks at Florida were brilliant during their time as Gators – although fairly ordinary as pros.

2) Spurrier might be hated because of his time at Duke/Kentucky (he beat almost everybody en route to a 122-27 record), but let’s not take out the sins of the Old Ball Coach over the Senile One now taking over in Columbia. In fact, his record is a fairly ordinary 55-35 – although SEC East fans be warned: South Carolina’s is 8-0 over the past two seasons against Florida, Georgia, Georgia, Tennessee and hated rivals Clemson. And Spurrier’s brilliant recruiting will mean that the Gamecocks will be discussed as SEC East favourites and dark horses for a National Championship run year in, year.

3) Spurrier must absolutely hate Tigers. He’s 0-7 against Auburn (0-5) and LSU (0-2) in his time as the Gamecocks’ head coach.

4) Spurrier hates players that don’t do the right thing. How do we know that? The Steve Spurrier tantrum on the sideline if his players don’t do things to perfection – complete with throwing his visor on the turf- is something to watch.

5) He doesn’t much like bad decisions from the officials, either.

But should he really be so hated? There are far worse ballcoaches out there – for example the types that wouldn’t have kicked Stephen Garcia off the team despite his stupid antics. The types that consistently cover up recruiting. The types that leave their schools at the dead of night with just a post-it note and a “I couldn’t give a crap”. Steve Spurrier booted out Garcia, he doesn’t seem to get into recruiting trouble, and he made sure he didn’t behave like a horses’s behind on his way out of any of his jobs.

And as for those people that we think should be on the list. The SECFootballBlog believe should be on the list, so we will be supplying two of their own: One for all of college football (current list) and the second is a 1-10 on all SEC coaches. Those not on the list should count themselves lucky!

 

What will recent arrests mean to both Arkansas and Tennessee?

Another week, another bunch of arrests in the world of college football.

TENNESSEE: This week, the Tennessee Vols  tight end Cameron Clear was arrested on a felony theft charge involving a laptop, according to the Atlanta Journal-Consititution, and the Tennessee Vols has dismissed him from the team.

The sophomore tight end has one reception and four receiving yards in his Volunteers career.

WHAT THIS MEANS: The biggest pain in the neck with Clear’s arrest is that it hits embattled Vols coach badly on the depth chart. Clear was meant to be No.2 on the chart, and now he’s not there anymore. Now, it’s going to be up to Brendan Downs to do the job alongside senior Mychal Rivera to do blocking for Tyler Bray, who’s looking like the Vols’ starting QB for 2012. For the 2013 season – if he plays well, doesn’t get injured and decides not to go pro – Downs is a shoo-in for the starting job. 

ARKANSAS: Back in April, backup linebacker Tyler Gilbert was arrested following a residential burglary charge (not a great move when your program’s already under a huge amount of scrutiny following the Bobby Petrino affair). He’s been charged, suspended by his team, and we suspect he’ll be booted off if everything goes wrong.

WHAT THIS MEANS: After seeing Arkansas’ defense last year – and knowing who the Razorbacks play in the SEC West – they need as many linebackers and defensive ends as they can must – particularly when the likes of Alabama’s Eddie Lacy is going to run deep in their heart. Although we don’t think this could be a particularly damaging loss for the program, the worry for Arkansas will be if there is a string of injuries to the team. Then they’ll be seething. 

 

Could the SEC bolt for UNC and Duke?

As we know, the SEC is no stranger to expanding its reach.

South Carolina and Arkansas came aboard in 1991.

Missouri and Texas A&M came aboard in 2012.

But could Duke and UNC come along and be part of SEC country, giving them not only dominance in football, but also – dear God – basketball?

Why do we ask this question? Tonight, we were at a charity function and got talking to someone still involved with Duke who told us: “It wasn’t so long ago that we and UNC were talking to the SEC about moving there”. He also remarked that Florida State would go to the Big XII, but wasn’t so sure about Clemson’s ambitions.

With the way the ACC is imploding, this would work for everybody.

Duke and UNC would have a natural home in SEC country (after all, they are more ‘Southeastern’ than either of the SEC’s new-found members), they have strong financial backing for all their sports, and – of course, the SEC would suddenly be a massive, massive deal in basketball terms. And UNC (we’ll forget about should-be-Division-I-AA Duke football because it’s been irrelevant since Spurrier, and we strongly believe that head coach David Cutcliffe should be in a better job somewhere else)

Can you imagine what that would bring to an already powerhouse conference? Mike Silve and the rest of the SEC guys would welcome them both with open arms.

There – of course – would be some change in the SEC conferences (as both of these guys would go into the East), forcing Mizzou to play in the SEC West. This might not go down too well with Tigers fans, but it would work out nicely from not only a football level, but also a basketball one too.

And the TV revenues – especially for the SEC Network – would be absolutely gigantic.

Your thoughts please!

 

 

To fans of the Southeastern Conference, the SEC isn’t a conference amongst numerous college football conferences. It’s a religion.

Our religion stretches from the swamplands of Florida to the oil fields of East Texas, taking in the States of Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee.

We go to church, both on Saturday and on Sunday, and like to scream our lungs out at both. And we’ll always talk about one or the other all weekend long, sometimes with a cocktail in our hand, sometimes not. And everyone’s invited to the party, as long as you promise not to swear in front of the ladies.

Our devotees are loyal, passionate, and when it comes to games against other conferences (and there are some, do you believe it?), we’ll cheer for our own team. If our team doesn’t win it, we’re happy to quote from the Good Book Of SEC Domination, noting that it’ll be our team’s turn next time. Unless you’re from the Good Church of Kentucky, when you’re just happy beating the crap out of all and sundry at basketball.

Some people don’t understand the passion for SEC Football, and some people do. If you don’t understand SEC Football, go and look up Wright Thompson’s essay about SEC Football. He’s an Ole Miss man who writes like Ole Man Faulkner, and that’s quite the compliment. Read it thoroughly as a theology student would read The Book of Mark – And then read it again.

In our conferences, we are all is a hated rivals– some more than others. Georgia and Florida fans won’t like each other the year round, and let’s just say that LSU fans don’t like anyone who gets in the way of their beloved Tigers. And as for Alabama and Auburn? If you are stupid enough to have your wedding on the weekend of the game in the State of Alabama, either expect an empty church or dinner, or make sure you’ve wired a big screen TV to keep everyone happy.

And when it comes to our attendance at church, our university students dress up for the occasion. Our fraternity boys wear ties, and our sorority girls wear dresses. There’s no room for jeans and T-shirts amongst our co-eds, it simply wouldn’t look right.

Our churches have mascots and sometimes nicknames. Mike The Tiger lives in Death Valley, there’s a War Eagle in Auburn, a Bulldog at Sanford, and Mummy and Daddy Gator at Florida (though thankfully, they aren’t the live versions!). And the sound of our churches are loud – very loud, particularly when our biggest rival is in town.

And if you are imbibing – which might just happen- make sure that you try a Bama Bomb or Kentucky bourbon and attend the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville or a tailgate at The Grove in Oxford, Mississippi, or North Lawn in Athens, Georgia, or maybe you’ll be lucky enough to be recruited to the ‘Vol Navy’ in Knoxville. And on your way to Baton Rouge, make sure you experience the drive-through dacquiri (although make sure you’re not driving while drinking it!). And everywhere, make sure you eat your weight in gumbo shrimp and cajun chicken.

This year, our congregation will be asking new questions. How will Texas A&M and Missouri fare in the league? Will the 12th Man really be a factor against Florida? Will Alabama survive the loss of so many players? Will LSU get back to the National Title game? Will Georgia make it twice in a row in the SEC title game? Will the Gators come back with a Chomp, or have they ceded control of the state to the Seminoles? Will Tennessee resurrect itself? Will the trees at Toomer’s Corner survive? And will Georgia find ways to lose as it did this season?

All these questions will be answered by the Gods of the SEC in September, October and November. And in January, we will all be singing from the same hymn sheet.

And before, during and after the season is done SECFootballBlog.com is going to hold your hand all of the way – with the theme song of ‘Back Down South‘ by the King of Leons.

 

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